Sun Damage Basics

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, did you know that up to 90% of the signs of aging are caused by the sun?  As concerning as sun damage can be aesthetically, it is also a major factor in the development of skin cancer – largely thanks to overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.  Protecting your skin is a year-round practice, not just something that should be done during the hot, summer months.  Whether you want to help stop, or even reverse, sun damage to your face, we’ve put together some of our patient’s top frequently asked questions regarding the skincare treatments we offer for sun damaged skin.

Sun Damage Basics DiscussedQ: I wear sunscreen only during the summer; should I still be concerned about sun damage?

A: Sun protection should be practiced 365 days of the year, even in the winter months.  Our skin is constantly exposed to harsh elements and just because it’s cloudy or a day spent skiing on a mountain, you’re still exposed to the same harmful rays that over time continue to break down elastin and collagen in the skin (both are the main supporters that keep your skin firm and younger looking).  A general rule of thumb our #AYAgirls always remind our patients to wear sunscreen with an SPF30, or higher, whenever outdoors and also incorporate a moisturizer with SPF to prevent further damage and discoloration to the skin.

Q: How do I know if I have sun damage?

A: If you spend a lot of time outdoors and don’t regularly wear protective clothing (long layers, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, etc.), then chances are you’ve gotten more sun than you bargained for.  Sun damage can appear in several different forms and varies by each person (because we all have different skin tones and types).  The most common signs include wrinkles, age/brown spots, melasma (brown or gray-brown patches), sagging skin, blotchiness or dull/dry skin.  Sunburns and tans also indicate sun damage as the color changes are results of an injury to the top layers of the skin.

Q: Is there anything I can do to erase my current sun damage?

A: It’s never too late to start a sun protection regimen and reversing signs of sun damage is possible with several, or a combination of cosmetic skincare treatments:

  • Chemical Peels – improves facial blemishes, wrinkles and uneven skin tone by removing the outermost layer of damaged skin. Over time, the topically applied solution causes the face to peel and regenerate new skin cells.
  • Cosmetic Injectablesnonsurgical cosmetic injectables like Botox®, Dypsort®, Juvéderm® XC and Sculptra® Aesthetic are temporary solutions patients use to tackle fine lines and moderate to deep wrinkles of the face and hands. Facial fillers like Juvéderm® Voluma™ and Radiesse® address lost volume and lax skin of the lips, cheeks and jowls, depending on which injectable you choose.
  • Microdermabrasion – one of the most natural ways to evenly and safely exfoliate the skin. Using crystals or a diamond encrusted tip, we massage and exfoliate the skin’s surface to treat sun damage by stimulating circulation and collagen production.
  • Skin Resurfacing – laser technology has really improved the quality of skincare treatments in recent years. Sciton® laser skin resurfacing is no exception.  Harnessing light energy to target blemishes on the upper layers of skin, Sciton® prompts the skin to heal as new cells resurface and eliminate wrinkles, uneven skin tone and other irregularities.
  • Skin Tightening – Ultherapy® skin tightening technology uses ultrasound waves to restart slowed collagen production and tighten weakened tissue for a rejuvenated look.

Enjoying the great outdoors is a wonderful thing!  We don’t want you to think you need to hide from the sun in order to save your skin but we want to make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect it as much as possible.  If you don’t already, SPF should be your #1 defense against the sun and a MUST for your skincare regimen.  Should you be experiencing noticeable signs of sun damage and would like more information about our treatments and products, contact AYA™ Medical Spa.  Keep up with the latest skincare news by staying connected with the #AYAgirls on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+.